Warning: this article features spoilers for episode three of The Mandalorian season three.
This week’s episode of The Mandalorian season three reintroduced two old foes, with our favourite father-son duo taking a back seat during the instalment.
Titled The Convert, this episode’s story focused on Dr. Pershing (Omid Abtahi) and Elia Kane (Katy M O’Brian), former members of the villainous Moff Gideon’s (Giancarlo Esposito) crew.
Whilst we have previously met both characters during earlier seasons, they were placed front and centre of today’s instalment, clearly set to play a larger role going forward.
We learn that the pair have been given the chance to redeem themselves with the New Republic’s Amnesty Program, which allows them to start afresh putting their time spent with the Empire behind them.
But are they really dedicated to the New Republic or are they still loyal to the Empire and Moff Gideon? Whilst Dr. Pershing might be, it seems that Kane has a sinister plan…
Who Is Dr. Pershing?
You may remember that Dr. Pershing was the scientist tasked with experimenting on Grogu, being given the mission by the Empire thanks to his expertise in cloning and genetic modification.
It was never clear what exactly the Empire had planned for Grogu, but Gideon tasked Pershing with extracting blood samples from the little guy for experimentation.
The last time we saw the scientist he helped Din Djarin (Pedro Pascal) escape with Grogu, seemingly seeing the light, hence it isn’t a surprise we reunite with him here whilst he’s adapting to a new way of life with the Amnesty Program.
However, Pershing becomes frustrated when the New Republic won’t allow him to continue his research into cloning, telling the scientist that it is prohibited.
But the scientist believes his work could help the New Republic and so, he ignores their orders, setting out on a mission to retrieve a mobile lab alongside Kane.
Of course everything goes to pot after he’s caught, with Pershing having his brain fried by a machine that appears to be a Mind Flayer, a device capable of erasing memories.
And if that wasn’t bad enough news for the scientist, it appears that this was all a trap set by Kane, who ensures the dangerous Mind Flayer device to turned up to maximum power.
Who Is Elia Kane?
The last time we saw Elia Kane was on-board Gideon’s ship where she was a nameless communications officer, often seen providing her boss with updates on his mission to capture Grogu.
You may remember her as the character who informed Gideon that a tracker had been placed on Mando’s ship the Razor Crest, and that the Dark Troopers were ready to kidnap Grogu.
Although we never saw Kane interact with Pershing during the first two seasons of the show, they would have worked together hence it isn’t a surprise when they recognise each other in today’s episode.
Whilst Kane tells Pershing that she’s happy working for the New Republic, this appears to be a lie as something else is definitely going on.
Getting close to the scientist, Kane is the one who convinces Pershing to continue with his research into cloning despite it being against the New Republic’s rules, eventually luring him outside of the perimeter to track down a mobile lab.
When they are caught by local law enforcement agents, it is only Pershing who is arrested, with Kane then dialing up the power on the Mind Flayer device he is hooked up to.
It seems clear that Kane set up a trap for Pershing meaning she is likely still loyal to the Empire and is following orders from Gideon… wherever he might be.
But why did they want his memories wiped? What did he know exactly?
The answer is probably pretty simple: Pershing knew too much about Gideon’s plans and due to his new-found commitment to the New Republic, he posed a threat to the Empire, hence Kane was sent on a mission to eliminate him.
What Impact Will They Have On The Show?
With episode three dedicating itself to reintroducing the pair, it seems certain that they will play a significant role in this season’s story.
Firstly, it’s worth noting that whilst Esposito has confirmed that he will reprise his role of the villainous Moff Gideon in season three, the character is yet to appear, leaving us awaiting his presence.
During today’s episode, we learnt that he has either had his memory wiped by a Mind Flayer or that he escaped on his way to facing a war tribunal – several stories are populating that rumour mill.
Given that Gideon is a slippery fellow, our guess is that the latter is true and he’s pulling the strings from behind the curtain, perhaps working with Kane therefore being responsible for what happens to Pershing.
We are certain this isn’t the last we have seen of Kane as it will soon be revealed who she is working with and what her nefarious plan is exactly.
However, given that Kane cranked the machine Pershing was hooked up to all the way up, the scientist may not return as he’s likely not to be the same following the intense treatment.
The Mandalorian Season 3 airs every Wednesday on Disney+.